The most common eye diseases explained
by Optoplus / November 2018
Eye disorders and eye diseases can occur at any age, hence the need for an annual eye exam. Here is a small guide to differentiate the most common conditions.
As your optometrist will explain, myopia is not an eye disease: it is a visual defect. This condition affects about 29% of the population. With the help of an optician, it can be corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses. The condition often manifests itself during childhood or adolescence, for this reason it’s important for your child to undergo a complete eye exam as soon as possible. Myopia develops when the eye is too long, causing an image that does not form on the retina, but slightly in front of it. As a result, people with myopia have blurry vision when looking at distant objects meaning they are nearsighted.
Hyperopia is the opposite of myopia and is often caused when the eye is too short; the image forms behind the retina. This results in farsightedness i.e. vision of distant objects remains normal. Mild hyperopia is often present in young children, but will naturally correct with the growth of the eyeball. Severe hyperopia usually develops in 40-year-olds and should be corrected by custom glasses in an optometry clinic.
It is common to confuse hypermetropia and presbyopia as both involve difficulty in seeing close objects. However, presbyopia is caused by a decrease in the lens’s ability to adapt. This lens usually continually regulates the focus of the eye. The constant adjustment of the lens is the product of a working intraocular muscle, the strength of which naturally diminishes with age. To remedy this, we can find magnifying glasses in pharmacies at low prices, but these glasses rarely meet all needs. The majority will need to consult an optometrist and will have to find a better suited eyewear product.
Astigmatism is caused by a cornea whose shape is abnormal, affecting the image projected on the retina by deforming it, splitting it or blurring it. The condition can be corrected by glasses or toric contact lenses. The screening test for astigmatism is done in an optometry clinic during a comprehensive eye exam. As with myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia, choosing the right eyeglasses is crucial: an optician will help you find frames that are comfortable and adapted to your eyesight and lifestyle.
A cataract is an eye disease that mostly affects people over 60 but can sometimes be diagnosed in young children. The normally transparent lens becomes cloudy and can become completely opaque. To delay the development of cataracts, it is important for people to wear sunglasses. In addition, regular eye exams performed in an optometry clinic are the best way to receive a quick diagnosis.
This eye disease affects the photoreceptors of the macula, resulting in loss of central vision. This is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. The disease can progress very quickly, this is why it is import to frequently visit your eye clinic to detect the warning signs.
Glaucoma affects 1% of people over 40, this percentage increases with age. It occurs when the aqueous humour, the liquid filling the space between the cornea and the iris, is no longer being drained normally, which increases the eye pressure. This pressure can be painful and cause loss of peripheral vision due optic nerve fibers being destroyed. Such intraocular pressure can be detected by an optometrist during an eye exam before the individual starts feeling pain.
Whether it’s for an eye condition affecting vision or for an eye disease that can cause vision loss, frequent visits to a clinic are critical to maintaining eye health. At OptoPlus, our optometrists perform comprehensive eye exams and identify possible irregularities.
Share this article